ICA Bluesky Workshop: Discussion Group on Culture-Centred Collaborations With Disenfranchised Communities

Many communicative interventions are exceedingly top-down wherein organisations already have a standard formula of intervention to achieve desired outcomes. Often, these interventions are intrusive to a community’s culture and does nothing more than provide temporary solace, if at all.

The ICA Bluesky Workshop is all about community-driven interventions that put community members and their needs front and centre. The workshop attempts to answer two important questions:

  • What does it mean when a community and their culture is in direct dialogue with the intervention that is supposed to transform their lives?
  • What does a culture-centred intervention look like?

We invite scholars, activists and practitioners who are involved in similar projects to have a fruitful and learning workshop with us on 26 May, 15:30 – 16:45, at Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Exhibition opening and panel discussion

Equivalence
By Chow and Lin
Exhibition opening: Tuesday 25 April 2017, 7pm – 9.30pm
Open to public: Wednesday 26 April to 14 May 2017

Panel discussion: Thursday 27 April 2017, 7.30pm
Register for the discussion here: http://equivalence.peatix.com/

Admission to the exhibition and panel discussion is free.

Equivalence is a systematic empirical investigation of observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques to address global issues of our time.

The Equivalence – Cans series delves into the state of the economy, social inequality and consumption patterns. It confronts us on how we view everyday life, often with our own set of tinted glasses, perhaps obscured by our world view determined by where we stand on the society strata.

http://www.chowandlin.com/equivalence-cans/

About the Panel Discussion: 

This panel discussion will focus on on socio-economic trends in Singapore, how they impact different sections of society, and how art can be used to spread awareness about these issues. The speakers include:

– Associate Professor Oh Soon-Hwa, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University
– Professor Mohan Dutta, Head of the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore
– Associate Professor Irene Y.H. Ng, Department of Social Work and Director of Social Service Research Centre, National University of Singapore
– Lin Huiyi, artist and Director of Grail Research
– Stefen Chow, artist and independent photographer


Talk- Culturally Centering Diet among Malays in Singapore: Building a Healthy Heart

NUS Communications and New Media’s CARE initiative is excited to organise the CARE Social Justice Series, showcasing projects that CARE has embarked on. This coming Monday, 3 April 2017, Prof Mohan J Dutta (Director of CARE and Head of NUS Department of Communications and New Media) and Ms Munirah Bashir (CARE Research Assistant) will speak on the topic Culturally Centering Diet among Malays in Singapore: Building a Healthy Heart.

CARE-CNM Research Series by Dr Gary L. Kreps

CARE-CNM is pleased to host Professor Gary L. Kreps for a one-day workshop followed by a research talk on “Translational Communication Scholarship”on the 19th January 17 (9am to 3pm) and 20th January 17 (3-4pm). Translational Communication Inquiry is designed to address important societal issues and improve quality of life. More information on this series can be found in the poster below. Register for this series by clicking on the poster below. Hope to see you there!

CARE-CNM Research Series by Dr Gary L. Kreps

CARE-CNM is pleased to host Professor Gary L. Kreps for a one-day workshop followed by a research talk on “Translational Communication Scholarship”on the 19th January 17 (9am to 3pm) and 20th January 17 (3-4pm). Translational Communication Inquiry is designed to address important societal issues and improve quality of life. More information on this series can be found in the poster below. Register for this series by clicking on the poster below. Hope to see you there!

The conservatism of behavior change: The limits of health communication as persuasion

The bulwark of health communication is built on the premise of communication as a tool of behavior change. Since the invention of film, communication scholars, practitioners, and policy makers have been obsessed with the power of media technologies to transform behaviors of audiences that can be targeted through messages. Mass media as tools of propaganda are invested with miraculous powers of transformation. The power of communication to bring about magical transformations in the behaviors of those it touches forms the mainspring of the lay obsession with magic bullet theories of the media. The media effects literature over the last four decades has robustly debunked the magic bullet ideology. These magic bullet theories have been witnessing a catalytic return since the advent of social media in the form of the renewed interest in behavior change theories, now packaged in big data analytics, nudge, and behavioral insights. What these renewed fascinations with media technologies (in this case, with the latest version, digital media) often overlook is the empirical evidence that aptly captures the limited effects of communication technologies in bringing about behavioral transformations. Why then this ongoing obsession with health communication as persuasion? Amid the large scale global inequalities and the effects of these inequalities on human health, policy makers and academics in the status quo find in the premise of behavior change the hope for improving health while keeping the status quo intact. As long as communication technologies can nudge individuals to change their behaviors, large scale inequities and the structures that constitute these inequities can be left intact. In other words, the system can be left to perpetuate itself, maintaining the status quo to the extent that health outcomes can be framed in the premises of behavior change. Hence, the growing interest in these age old communication-driven persuasive processes in economics and business schools. Essential to the logic of behavior change is an overarching conservatism that reproduces the inequities in existing structural configurations. The moral question of inequalities in health outcomes is shaped by an emphasis on individual responsibility, placing the onus of health on the individual. Behavior change reifies the neoliberal ideology of health, where policymakers and health communicators continue to see health as a product of individual behavior. The neoliberal ideology of health communication fundamentally limits conversations with empirical evidence, with the body of work on media effects that is humbling in terms of the degree of faith we ought to put on the promises of behavior change. Economists and business researchers jumping into behavioral insights and nudge theories with gusto would do well to begin with the vast body of media effects literature instead of clinging to the seductions of an ideology that has largely proven detrimental to human health and wellbeing. By Prof Mohan J. Dutta